Currency Trading Pips and Ticks
A pip is the smallest change of price for any Foreign Currency. The currency quotes appear as numbers with either two or four decimal places. This means that if the Foreign Currency moves up or down, the smallest move is called a "pip". When you trade in Forex, you monitor how the pips rise and drop and this is what determines your investment.
An example of this is if you buy EUR/USD. This pair is quoted four decimal numbers after the point. A pip here is ten thousandth of a Dollar, or 0.0001 of a dollar, meaning 1/100 of a cent. The pip is an abbreviation of "Price Interest Point", and this is why another name used for pips is points.
Even though a pip is only a small amount of money, because your foreign currency trading is usually a leveraged investment, a few pips can mean serious cash fluctuations. Each serious trader needs to know how to calculate the change from pips the actual sums invested, and some online Foreign currency trading agents offer such calculators in their account. You should consider these and other advanced functions when selecting the broker you want to use. Pip value can vary, and is usually $1 in mini accounts or $10 in regular accounts.
An important concept that concerns pips is called The Spread. This is the pip difference between the bid price and the ask price done for the currency trading sum. When you buy Foreign Currency it costs you more than to sell it and this is the spread.
Ticks are the smallest amounts of time that exist between two currency trades. This time frame can be a short time period of a fraction of a second for major currencies, or can also be a time frame of a few hours for less popular currencies. Ticks do not happen in constant intervals, even though the charts used for technical analysis do use specific time rates such as 4 hours of 15 minutes.
Jeremy Evans - Editor.